49 King Seeley Auto Race Metal Lunchbox
1967 King-Selley Thermos Co Auto race missing thermos and magnetic carPoor (condition 3 or C3) - Boxes in this condition make a great coin holder tin. Neither side of the box is suitable for display.
King-Seeley made machinery for Sears that were sold under the Craftsman and Dunlap labels. If your Sears product has a model number beginning with "103-" then it was made by King-Seeley Corp.
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, King-Seeley was an operating unit of General Motors; they probably used GM's Willow Run foundry for their castings. Besides woodworking machinery, King-Seeley also made Thermos bottles, metal lunch boxes, picnic coolers, refrigeration components, etc., all using excess GM manufacturing capacity. The Central Specialty Division of King-Seeley, located in Ypsilanti, was responsible for woodworking machinery.
One source reports that in 1947, King-Seeley acquired a contract to make the Craftsman and Dunlap machine lines for Sears-Roebuck (Walker-Turner had the contract before then). That source claims that King-Seeley had not made woodworking machinery before that time. However, we have a report of a Companion scrollsaw with a 103 (King-Seeley) prefix. Since the Companion name was supposedly dropped in 1941, there is an inconsistency in our information. Update (Feb2006): several machines from the late 1930s through the WWII time period have been identified with the 103 source code.
Please contact us if you have any information that would shed light on when King-Seeley started producing woodworking machinery.
In 1964, all of King-Seeley's design patents, tooling, and parts stock were bought by Emerson Electric Co. of Paris, TN; Emerson then took over production of machines for Sears.
One notable machine was the 10" cabinet saw, introduced in 1953 and made until Emerson dropped its production in 1966. It was reportedly the first machine to have the arbor ground and trued in place, i.e., after being mounted in the saw.
Until the late 1950s, machine badges said, "Made By King-Seeley Corporation"; subsequently, the labels were altered to read, "Guaranteed Highest Quality".
Although Thermos Company may be best known for its line of vacuum-insulated bottles and lunch boxes, the Illinois-based manufacturer is also a leading maker of barbecue grills, coolers, carafes, and other household products based on its thermal technology. In fact, the largest portion of Thermos's estimated $200 million in annual sales is thought to come from its gas and electric barbecue units, which generally sell at the midrange and premium price categories. Thermos continues to dominate the U.S. lunch kit market, holding onto about 50 percent of the approximately $39 million spent on lunch kits each year. As part of the worldwide Thermos Group of Products under parent company Nippon Sanso Corp. of Japan, the company combines award-winning product designs, such as its electric barbecue grill introduced in 1993 and its thermal cooker introduced in 1994, with one of the United States' oldest brand names.
Vacuum insulation, a technology that allows hot things to stay hot and cold things to stay cold, was invented in 1892 by the English scientist James Dewar. Dewar was studying the properties of liquid gases, that is, gases held below the temperature at which they become liquid, and he needed a way to keep the gases cold enough to remain in their liquid form. Dewar discovered that sealing one glass bottle inside another and removing the air between the two bottles gave him the temperature retention he sought. He named this discovery vacuum insulation and his device the vacuum bottle. Dewar did not patent his device, however.
Commercial development of Dewar's invention came at the turn of the century. The German company, Burger and Aschenbrenner, became the first to adapt the vacuum bottle for commercial purposes, forming Thermos GmBH in 1904. The name Thermos came as a result of a contest; it was submitted by a resident of Munich, Germany who derived the term from the Greek word "therme," or heat. In 1905, a British company, A. E. Gutman, was given United Kingdom distribution rights; the following year, Gutman registered the Thermos name as a trademark in England and, by 1907, had registered the Thermos trademark throughout the United Kingdom and in other countries around the world. In that year, William Walker founded the American Thermos Bottle Company in Brooklyn, New York, acquiring the German company's patent and taking over its U.S. business. Sales in 1907 reached $115,000.
Becoming a Household Word:The Early 20th Century
American Thermos set out to popularize the Thermos name as a synonym for the vacuum bottle. By 1910, the company could claim in its catalog that Thermos had become a "household word," using the word Thermos not as an adjective for the company's vacuum bottles, but as a noun signifying the vacuum bottle itself. This marketing strategy would indeed create a household name for Thermos but would later come to haunt the company. Sales had tripled to $381,000, however, by 1910. In 1913, American Thermos moved its headquarters to Norwich, Connecticut.
The Thermos name continued to gain in popularity, and the company continued to encourage identification of the Thermos name with the product itself. By 1917, the company could assure its retailers that the public's use of the word Thermos when referring to vacuum bottles was worth three to four million dollars in free advertising. Thermos products were already becoming part of history, traveling with Robert Peary on his discovery of the North Pole, and forming part of the equipment of such aviation pioneers as the Wright Brothers and Count Zeppelin.
The terms "aspirin," "escalator," and "cellophane" also began as trademarks, but quickly passed into generic use. American Thermos soon faced a similar problem. As early as 1922, the company brought suit against W. T. Grant Co. for using the word Thermos to describe the latter company's own vacuum bottles. In that case, American Thermos won on a technicality: in its defense, it neglected to claim that Thermos had become a generic word. The decision rendered by the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, however, stated that "there is no evidence that Thermos means to the public vacuum bottles produced by the plaintiff."
With sales nearing $1.5 million by 1923, American Thermos set out to protect its trademark, including registering its logo, adding the words "vacuum bottles" or "vacuum jugs" to its advertising, and raising the prominence of the trademark symbol beside its name. During the 1920s, the company also acquired two of its competitors, the Icy Hot Bottle Company in 1925 and the Keapsit Company in 1929. The company also acquired the majority interest in the Thermos company established by Gutman in the United Kingdom.
American Thermos succeeded in gaining recognition for its trademark in the industry, and it actively protected the trademark against commercial infringement. From 1935, the company employed a clipping service to seek out unauthorized references to the Thermos name in the trade and in advertising. Yet the word Thermos continued to be used as a generic word by the general public; it even began to appear in some dictionaries. Thermos protested these uses when it discovered them, but many hundreds of instances escaped the company's attention. At the same time, the company's protests were largely ignored by the nontrade users of the thermos term, and the company generally made no further attempts to enforce compliance.
Sales in 1936 topped $2.5 million and would double again by 1945. But the company continued to be aware of the threat to its trademark. In a 1940 memorandum, company officials raised concerns about the addition of the word "thermos" to many dictionaries, arguing that "this undoubtedly would be cited against us in a lawsuit to defend the trademark. The best we can do is to try to 'purify' the definition of the word." Yet the company let enforcement of the trademark slip during World War II, fearing negative publicity. After the war, American Thermos attempted to reinforce its trademark among the trade and advertisers. By 1952, however, the company feared that pressing a trademark infringement suit would result in losing Thermos's trademark status. Meanwhile, the company enjoyed the benefits of the strength of its name. As the market for vacuum products grew in the years following the war, Thermos's sales grew as well, from $5.3 million in 1945 to more than $13 million by the end of the 1950s.
A boost to company sales came with the introduction of its first licensed lunch kits. Prior to 1953, Thermos had been selling comparatively drab, green-painted tin lunch boxes. But, in that year, the company produced a lunch kit featuring popular performers Roy Rogers and Dale Evans painted on the box and bottle. More than 2.5 million of the Rogers-Evans kits were sold, and an American school tradition began. During the 1950s, as well, the company attempted to separate the Thermos name from the vacuum bottle itself by broadening its production to include tents, bottle openers, firelighters, lanterns, camping stoves, and other products, each bearing the Thermos name. In 1954, the company's name was changed to American Thermos Products Company to reinforce Thermos as a brand name, not a specific product.
Losing the Trademark in the 1950s
American Thermos stepped up its efforts to protect the Thermos name in the late 1950s. The company's protests rose from less than 200 in 1957 to nearly 1,200 in 1961. But these efforts were too little, too late. Inevitably, another company would attempt to market its own vacuum bottles as thermos bottles.
That company was Aladdin Industries, which introduced its own vacuum bottles in 1945, with sales growing from $560,000 in that year to nearly $7 million by 1960. In 1958, Aladdin announced its intention to market a line of vacuum bottles as "thermos bottles." American Thermos sued Aladdin for trademark infringement in that year.
In 1962, Judge Robert Anderson rendered his decision: "thermos" was indeed a generic word. According to Anderson's decision, American Thermos, which by then had been acquired, along with its Canadian and British subsidiaries, by King-Seeley and renamed King-Seeley Thermos Company, had itself contributed to the popularization of the word thermos as a synonym for vacuum bottles, while failing in its diligence to enforce its trademark rights. Aladdin was granted the right to add the word "thermos," in lowercase only, to its thermos bottles. Thermos retained its "Thermos" brand name.
Expanding the Company
Despite this setback, Thermos remained one of the most popular brand names in the United States and continued to hold the lead in thermos sales. In 1965, King-Seeley Thermos acquired Structo Manufacturing Company, which had been founded in 1907 as Thompson Manufacturing Company in Freeport, Illinois. Structo, which manufactured children's toys for most of its history, added production of barbecue grills in 1960. Three years after the Structo purchase, King-Seeley Thermos was itself acquired by Household International as a subsidiary.
In 1969, King-Seeley Thermos acquired the Halsey Taylor Company, a maker of drinking fountains and water coolers. Six years later, Structo dropped its other products to focus on making barbecue grills exclusively, becoming a leader in that market. The following year, Structo was consolidated into King-Seeley Thermos, which took over production of barbecues under the Structo name.
By the beginning of the 1980s, the Thermos division was producing the bulk of Household International's $125 million in consumer products sales. Sales of its glass-lined thermos products were under pressure, however, as the rise of coffee makers and other appliances began to replace the need for thermoses and as new, more durable stainless steel thermoses began to eat into the sales of glass-lined thermoses. The company introduced new products, including glass-lined carafes, to take up slumping thermos sales. In 1984, Thermos shut down its Norwich, Connecticut operations and moved the company's headquarters to Illinois. Two years later, Household International, by then renamed Household Manufacturing, finally merged Thermos and Structo, forming the Thermos Company. The combined companies would reach $188 million in sales by 1988.
By the end of the 1980s, however, Household moved to exit manufacturing, reforming as Household Finance. Thermos was sold to Nippon Sanso Corp. of Japan for $134 million in 1989. Sanso, a leading maker of industrial gases and other products, also manufactured its own premium-priced thermoses, which would later be sold under the Nissan Thermos brand name. In 1990, Monte Peterson, formerly with Coleman Co., was named president and CEO of the new subsidiary.
Restructured for the 1990s
Through the 1980s, Thermos's sales stagnated. Its share of the thermal-insulated market, worth about $150 million in 1989, had dropped to one-third. By then, however, the company's barbecue grills were driving the company's growth, representing more than 60 percent of annual sales. Under Peterson, Thermos set out to improve its position by coming up with new product designs. Peterson reformed the company from its former bureaucratic structure, in which the company was organized by function, into an interdisciplinary team structure. This allowed Thermos to create and begin to market its new Thermal Electric Grill in less than two years. The grill would go on to win several new product awards, and it produced strong immediate sales.
Thermos also worked to reinvent the lunch box. After a failed attempt at a reusable lunch bag (children complained because their food would get crushed), Thermos introduced several new designs, including a rock-shaped "Flintstones" lunch box, purse-style lunch kits, and futuristic lunch box styles that allowed it not only to maintain its popularity among younger children, but also to increase its share of the older children's market. The company also presented its SoftThermos, a collapsible cooler. Licensing arrangements for such characters as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the perennial bestseller Barbie, Batman, and Pocahontas helped the company maintain its leadership in the lunch box market through the first half of the 1990s, a market estimated at around $40 million per year.
Peterson left the company in 1995 and was replaced by Douglas Blair. In 1995, Blair stated his intention to build up the company's marketing efforts and redirect sales efforts from its premium-priced line to the company's mid-priced products. Growth at Thermos, however, seemed to be slow over the past decade, with sales in 1995 estimated to have reached only around $200 million. With strong competition from Weber, Sunbeam, and others in the more than $1 billion barbecue market, further growth for Thermos appeared most likely in developing new products using its thermal insulation technology and ever-popular brand name.
The lunch box, also referred to as a lunch pail or lunch kit, is a container meant to store a meal for consumption, usually at work or school. The essential idea of a food container has been around for a very long time, but it wasn't until people began using tobacco tins to haul meals in the early 20th century, followed by the use of lithographed images on metal, that the containers became a staple of youth, and in turn, a marketable product in the eyes of manufacturers.
The lunch box has historically most often been used by schoolchildren to take packed lunches, or a snack, from home to school. The most common modern form is a small case with a clasp and handle, often printed with a colorful image that can either be generic or based on children's television shows or films. Use of lithographed metal to produce lunch boxes in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s gave way in the 1990s to use of injection-molded plastic.
A lunch kit comprises the actual "box" and a matching vacuum bottle. However, pop culture has more often embraced the singular term lunch box, which is now most commonly used.
Masters of the Universe (commonly abbreviated to MOTU; and sometimes informally referred to as He-Man, after the lead hero) is a media franchise created by Mattel.
Among others, it features the characters of He-Man and Skeletor on planet Eternia. Since its initial launch in 1982, the franchise has spawned a variety of products, including six lines of action figures, four animated television series, countless comic series and a film. Designer Roger Sweet claims to be the chief creator of He-Man and MOTU, although this is not officially acknowledged by Mattel. The earliest storybooks and much of the original backstory were written by Donald F. Glut.
1 Versions of the franchise
1.1 Mineternia: the original minicomics (1981–1983)
1.2 Cartoon series (1983–1985)
1.3 Animated series notes
 Versions of the franchise
As with many toy franchises which have been transferred to several different media there are a number of story differences between the various versions of Masters of the Universe. Complicating matters further, several media have made implicit attempts to change details to realign with other versions, with the result that internal discontinuities arise.
 Mineternia: the original minicomics (1981–1983)
All of the original action figures came with minicomics that told stories involving the characters. In the earliest comics, He-Man is a wandering barbarian on Eternia, a world dealing with the aftermath of a Great War that has devastated the civilizations that once reigned, but has left behind fantastical machinery and weapons. The events of the Great War opened a rift between dimensions, which allows the evil warlord Skeletor to travel to Eternia, and he has now set his sights on the ancient Castle Grayskull, the 'fortress of mystery and power'. Whoever attains control of Grayskull will gain the power to become Master of the Universe. To prevent Skeletor from achieving his goal, He-Man has been given special powers and weapons by The Sorceress (referred to as 'The Goddess' in early stories, except in her debut appearance in which she is shown, the one and only time, to have green skin) and sets out to defend the castle from Skeletor. He-Man is supported by several heroic allies, such as Man-At-Arms, the Eternian master of weapons, and Teela, the adopted daughter of Man-At-Arms. Skeletor manages to find one half of the Power Sword, a great weapon which is itself the key to Castle Grayskull. He-Man has been given the other half by The Sorceress, and must prevent Skeletor from linking the two halves to gain access to the castle. To distinguish these stories from the TV cartoon-influenced minicomics that were released to tie-in with the TV series, fans dubbed this first version of Eternia as 'mini-Eternia', and the two words were fused into 'Mineternia' in 2003, by a minicomics fansite, called Eternia Minor (now, He-Man Tales).
 Cartoon series (1983–1985)
Main article: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
The animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was produced by Filmation and made its television debut in 1983.
Eternia is ruled by King Randor and Queen Marlena. (The latter was born Marlena Glen, a Terran astronaut who married Randor after she was marooned on Eternia by the crash of her spaceship). Their son is Prince Adam: lazy, clumsy, careless, irresponsible and almost as cowardly as his pet tiger Cringer. (Adam's twin sister, Princess Adora, was kidnapped at birth by the evil warlord Hordak - who raised her as his own daughter to become a captain in his army). However, Prince Adam possesses a magic sword, and when he holds it aloft and says the magic words, "By the power of Grayskull! I have the power!" Prince Adam is transformed into He-Man, "The Most Powerful Man In The Universe".
Many episodes, particularly the early ones, are about Skeletor's repeated attempts and failures to enter Castle Grayskull. He-Man invariably defeats these attempts, unless Skeletor defeats himself first via his own stupidity, arrogance and treachery - which is often the case. Though the animated cartoons were similar, in respects, to the version of the story presented by DC Comics, Filmation focused more on the lighter, humorous elements of the story rather than the violent ones, in order to render it more suitable for a children's audience. A new character was also introduced in the form of Orko, a small alien magician who shares Prince Adam's secret and provides the comic relief for most episodes.
Despite the limited animation techniques that were used to produce the series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was notable for breaking the boundaries of censorship that had severely restricted the narrative scope of children's TV programming in the 1970s. For the first time in years, a cartoon series could feature a muscular superhero who was actually allowed to hit people, though he still couldn't use his sword often. The cartoon was controversial in that it was produced in connection with marketing a line of toys; advertising to children was itself controversial during this period. In Britain, advertising regulations forbade commercials for He-Man toys to accompany the program itself (either before or after the episode, as there were no in-show commercials). In similar fashion to other shows at the time (notably G.I. Joe), an attempt to mitigate the negative publicity generated by this controversy was made by including a "life lesson" or "moral of the story" at the end of each episode. This moral was usually directly tied to the action or central theme of the episode. In the United Kingdom, where the episodes were usually edited for timing reasons, these closing "morals" were nearly always edited out of their original broadcasts.
The cartoon series was also remarkable because it was one of the first animated series produced directly for syndication, as opposed to most other syndicated cartoons of the time which were re-runs of old Saturday morning cartoons. The most notable production fact of the series was that it was the very first animated series where a bulk quantity of 65 episodes were produced so that the series could be stripped across 13 weeks.
It is also noted for featuring early script-writing work from Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, and Paul Dini of the The Batman Animated Series fame. One episode, "Battle Cat," was written by Star Treks D.C. Fontana.
 Animated series notes
Due to the budget-constraints by Filmation, the He-Man cartoon only featured a voice-cast of four to five people, after Erika Scheimer joined the cast. Linda Gary, who through an early mis-crediting was often assumed wrongly to be actress Linda Gray, single-handedly provided voices for nearly all the female characters, but the bulk of the character voices were provided by the show's executive producer, Lou Scheimer, one of the founding producers of Filmation and at the time still its chief producer, who in the earliest episodes went under the name Erik Gunden. The character voices of He-Man and Beast Man were provided by John Erwin; that of Skeletor, by Alan Oppenheimer.
A common misconception about the cartoon series is that it was cheap to produce, due to the small number of voice actors and heavy reliance on stock animation. In fact, the series was one of the more expensive 1980s animated series to produce, primarily due to the entire series production being handled in the U.S., rather than having the animation outsourced to another country. However, in terms of pure animation quality, Filmation's team couldn't compete with the superior animation of concurrent outsourced shows like the Littles and Heathcliff (1984 TV series). 
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